Half-term holiday hell as flights axed and queues on street for ‘zoo’ airport


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Half-term travel chaos has left thousands frustrated holidaymakers facing huge queues across several major airports today.

Passengers travelling from Gatwick, Bristol, Manchester and Dublin have been caught up in massive lines, with some saying they felt like animals at a zoo.

Photos show families forced to wait outside terminal buildings as queues snake onto the street, with several missing their flights amid the carnage, the Mirror reports.

Flyers were also pictured sleeping on the airport floor overnight.

There are also reports of terminal cafes and shops running out of food and drinks after a hectic weekend, leaving staff struggling to keep up with demand.

It comes as hundreds of flights could be cancelled ahead of the half-term surge – with many distraught customers finding out their getaways have been cancelled over text.

One dad taking his family to celebrate his mum’s 60th in Rhodes, Greece, called the whole thing off when he saw the carnage that awaited them at the airport.

Jason Nash said there were other TUI passengers on different flights with young children, people who were due to go to funerals and even a wedding party whose wedding had to be called off after the airline cancelled their package holiday.

Some who have managed to endure the carnage say they had to abandon luggage after it failed to show up in arrivals.

TUI told Manchester Airport customers that their flight had been cancelled by text after an eight-hour wait.
TUI told Manchester Airport customers that their flight had been cancelled by text after an eight-hour wait.

EasyJet announced it would cancel more than 200 flights from Gatwick over the next 10 days, while Tui dished another blow with a “small number” scrapped across other airports.

The Department for Transport has also warned roads are “extremely busy” due to an “exceptionally high number” of travellers.


At Bristol Airport, huge queues of frustrated holidaymakers snaked out into the street this morning.
At Bristol Airport, huge queues of frustrated holidaymakers snaked out into the street this morning.

Passengers flying out of Bristol said more than 1,000 people stood in the 300-metre long queue for departures today.

It comes a day after the airport was dubbed a ‘zoo’ as holidaymakers faced hours-long delays and huge queues.

Paul Trueman, who shared a picture of the huge queue at Bristol Airport, tweeted: “Just got to #bristolairport. It’s 5 in the morning and this is the queue for the departure gates.

“That building in the distance is the airport.”

Another passenger tweeted: “@easyJet what are you paying for at @BristolAirport.

“Only half the security lanes open and not fast track. Two hours to get through. Queues started 300m on the road outside.”

Meanwhile, Paul Smith shared another picture of a huge crowd waiting at departures in Bristol this morning.

Bristol Airport's packed departures gate.
Bristol Airport’s packed departures gate.

He wrote: ” #bristolairport already been queuing for an hour outside by the longstay carpark. Flight will be quicker to Belfast than being in the actual airport. #nothopefull

One holidaymaker said she had been waiting for two hours to simply check in her family’s bags at the airport today.

She added: ” @BristolAirport absolutely over capacity / systems failing to process the numbers of people flying through the airport.

“Queued for two hours to check in our bag, now joined a queue of over 1000 people snaking outside just to get to departure lounge. Three kids in tow.”

A spokesman for Bristol Airport told The Mirror: “We appreciate the frustration experienced by customers early this morning and are sorry for the long queues at security.

“We’ve fallen short this morning but the Bristol Airport team and our business partners are working hard to ensure all customers have a smooth and easy journey through the terminal.

“Each day over 80% of our customers experience less than a 20-minute security queue time, it is only during peak flight operations we extend beyond this – we are focussed on improving this.”

Last night Mike Cole branded Bristol Airport a ‘disgrace’ and said he had been waiting for five hours before his easyJet flight was cancelled.

Another passenger, Phill Clark, said: “Flight delayed by 2.5 hours but not a @TUIUK representative in site.

“Funny that what with them being required to supply food and drink to passengers… @BristolAirport is a zoo at the moment, terrible service from both parties.”

The airport recently blamed delays on a shortage of staff.


Passengers have also faced long queues at Gatwick Airport.
Passengers have also faced long queues at Gatwick Airport.

Gatwick Airport has also struggled with long queues in recent days.

This morning, Caroline Sanders tweeted a picture of a huge line of passengers waiting at EasyJet’s bag drop in the airport’s north terminal.

However, she added: “To be fair … although queues were long and snaking around airport we got through bagdrop in 30mins and security in 25min #gatwickairport #easyjet

Meanwhile, easyJet customer Alan Black said his flight was cancelled just as he was about to fly to Seville, Spain, this morning.

He tweeted: “At Gatwick. Just about to board flight to Seville for family wedding – Flight just cancelled. No alternative flights, in fact no support offered at all. Thanks a bunch @easyJet @easyJet_press

“Now sitting in the hall of baggage reclaim waiting to get our luggage back. Been here half an hour already. No sign of any @easyJet staff whatsoever. Stellar performance @easyJet.

“Just spoken to @easyJet representative found hiding round corner in baggage reclaim. Claims delay due to @Gatwick_Airport currently only having one person on unloading baggage. All impending easyjet and Gatwick customers be warned.”

However, the airport replied to Mr Black’s tweet by informing him that baggage handlers were employed by the airline – not Gatwick.

Another passenger complained about her flight being delayed and then cancelled at Gatwick Airport on Friday.

Sunita Ramjee, 50, of Swansea, Wales, was due to jet out to Nice for the Grand Prix in Monaco, however her plans were ruined by the cancellation.

EasyJet and Gatwick airport have been approached for comment.

EasyJet previously axed more than 200 half-term flights from Gatwick the day after it suffered IT problems.


A long line of fed up passengers at Manchester Airport.
A long line of fed up passengers at Manchester Airport.

Lengthy delays remain at Manchester Airport.

Andy wrote on Twitter this morning: “Absolute carnage at Manchester Airport this morning. When they say arrive 3hrs before the flight is set to leave, they mean it!”.

TUI passengers yesterday received texts from the firm telling them their trips had been cancelled after an eight-hour airport wait at Manchester Airport, it is reported

Holidaymakers endured multiple delays before they were finally told they would not be leaving the airport.

Some children even broke down in tears after discovering their vacations had been ruined.

Children were left in tears after find out that their flight from Manchester Airport had been cancelled.
Children were left in tears after find out that their flight from Manchester Airport had been cancelled.

It came after passengers endured a four-hour wait to get through check-in and security and another four-hour delay while “waiting for a pilot”.

The troubled flight to Kos, out of Terminal 2, was supposed to take off at 3.45pm, but angry ticketholders say they would have missed the flight – if it had been on time – due to queues “out of the building” to check-in.

A spokesperson for TUI said: “We would like to apologise for the inconvenience to our customers on flight TOM2680 from Manchester and Kos, on Saturday 28th May who were delayed to a combination of factors causing significant operational disruption.

Hundreds of suitcases abandoned at Manchester Airport
Hundreds of suitcases abandoned at Manchester Airport.

“Unfortunately, we felt the impact to customers holiday was too great and took the difficult decision to cancel the flight.

“We contacted affected customers as soon as we became aware of the change and all customers will receive a full refund within 14 days.

“We understand how disappointing and frustrating this is and we do apologise for any inconvenience caused.”


A busy terminal 2 at Dublin Airport on Monday morning.
A busy terminal 2 at Dublin Airport on Monday morning.

Over 1,000 passengers may have missed their flights thanks to the chaotic scenes at Dublin Airport over the weekend.

This morning surging queues have been snapped in Terminal 2.

Calls have been made for the management of Dublin Airport to resign after plans were thrown into chaos due to the lengthy queues, reports DublinLive.

Dublin Airport Authority spokesman Kevin Cullinane said: “We estimate over 1,000 passengers were impacted by the lengthy queues at Dublin Airport.

“We’ll be doing a further tally with our airline partners again this morning to ascertain the final number but at this stage, it’s well over 1,000 passengers for which we obviously unreservedly apologise.”

It comes after a teenager vowed to never step foot in the airport again following a terrible experience over the weekend.

It was Kerri Creed’s first time travelling alone and she was excited to visit her girlfriend in Kraków, Poland, after many months apart.

However, the massive queues outside the airport quickly caused the young woman great distress.

“My anxiety was through the roof to the point I almost passed out and a stranger asked was I okay as I went wax white on the face,” she said.

“The panic started to set in.”

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By Harriet